Granite countertops look great and will not only grace the kitchen with their stylish beauty, but will also last longer than most of your house. Granite is quartz, and will withstand the sharpest knife and hard knocks a lot better than even stainless steel. Granite is actually harder than a stainless steel knife. It will resist discoloration by even the most brightly colored foods and spices, though some acidic foods can cause stains.
If you want to turn the neighbors green, then a granite kitchen countertop is for you. But the major problem with granite is that although the prices are generally dropping, it is still relatively expensive compared to other countertop surfaces. If you are willing to pay the price, then it is well worth it for the warmth and class that it adds to your kitchen, and in addition to withstanding hard knocks (though try to avoid them) it is tolerates hot pots and pans, and although while it will not normally discolor if you take your pan right off the stove and lay it down on the countertop, you are advised to use a cork mat since some granites can have imperfections that might stain. However, if your granite does get stained, and some do, it can be cleaned using normal kitchen cleaners.
Granite generally comes in 2 cm and 3 cm thickness, and while the 3 cm is more expensive, it gives extra strength. The thinner granite will also likely need a plywood or laminate edge, which you don't need that with the thicker stone. Although the countertop will usually be sealed by the supplier, you should reseal it every two years or so.
Marble is an alternative to granite and great for rolling dough and pastry making due to its coldness. However, it is not as hard as granite and is more easily chipped. It is subject to fluids, and can be stained by oils and colored contaminants such as spices. It has to be sealed more often than granite to prevent this. However, marble kitchen countertops are popular to the large variation in color and natural features. It is naturally more beautiful than granite, but you definitely sacrifice durability.
Slate countertops are durable and even more heatproof than granite. A well known roofing material because of its durability and resistance to water, slate is an ideal material for a kitchen countertop. Although it resists stains very well, a sealing coat is not a bad idea. Slate is usually thinner than granite, and will need an edging, but that does not detract from its looks or durability. Some people prefer slate because of its looks, while others go for marble and granite for the same reason.
Whether your preference is granite, marble or slate you should keep in mind that the counter will be heavier than normal, and might have to be reinforced to hold the weight. Extra brackets to reinforce the counter structure are generally enough for that, and the weight of the stone provides stability itself. It is certainly worth the effort since granite, marble and slate have a beauty that no other material can equal.
If you complement your countertop with a sink of the same material, the effect can be astounding. A marble top with a marble sink to go with it might appear over the top, but in fact looks astoundingly beautiful. The same would likely be true of marble. If you add a granite kitchen island then your kitchen would be practically complete. The overall look of a kitchen is improved if all the surfaces and countertops are of the same material.
Irrespective of the accessories, however, a granite counter will provide a lovely look to your kitchen by itself. It has the looks and class that can make an ordinary kitchen breathtaking, and you will certainly have no objections to people spending time in your kitchen during parties. In fact it looks so good that you could even have your dinner parties in your kitchen! Or perhaps that's being just a little bit too enthusiastic.